Ainsley Maitland-Niles has had to wait patiently for his chance in central midfield.
The England Under-21 international has been mainly deployed at left back and wing-back since breaking into the first team this season, but sees his future further forward.
“I’d say I’m more of a box-to-box midfielder but the boss sees me in more of a Coquelin role, holding midfield and trying to break up the play,” he told Arsenal Player. “It’s about trying to keep the ball and scoring the odd goal here and there.
“I believe I could play as a traditional English No 4, an English No 8, anywhere around that middle part of the pitch. I’ve had a lot of things on Twitter comparing me to Patrick Vieira you know.
“I do see why they say that because he was good at reading the game, very good technically, a great passer and he’d love a challenge as well. I’m not shy of one either. Whoever anyone wants to compare me to, I’d always look to surpass them. Bring on the challenge really!
“It’s just experience and gametime on the pitch, playing out of position,” he added. “If you can play out of position well, then nothing’s going to stop you when you’re playing in your rightful position.
“This season I just want to become a regular and play as many games as possible. I think I’ve already gone past what I played last year, so it’s going well at the moment. It’s just about continuing that good form and hopefully winning a trophy with the club at the end of it.”
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